Keskonrisk runs in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle on Wednesday. PA

3 outside bets for St Patrick's Day at Cheltenham

Johnny Ward looks ahead to Wednesday’s racing at the Festival.

THIS YEAR’S CHELTENHAM Festival is underway.   

Racing journalist Johnny Ward will be bringing you his best tips throughout the week — along with William Hill’s latest prices — and here’s what he fancies on St Patrick’s Day…

Talking to a trader for a bookmaker on Monday, he told me his firm had laid three horses in Wednesday’s Grand Annual: Entoucas, Embittered and Us And Them.

That is all well and good but all three are trained by the one man, Joseph O’Brien! It shows how competitive these handicaps are at Cheltenham, even allowing for the smaller fields this year.

This is a tricky day’s punting but here are three worth considering.

Keskonrisk — 14/1 (Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, 1.20)

Keskonrisk is also trained by Joseph O’Brien and he is fascinating in a race in which there has been little chat about anything other than the top three in the betting. That the trainer targets this is interesting as the trip is an unknown and he was hugely costly over a year ago (€428,000/£370,000), so it’s interesting they risk running here with no fanfare for the owners.

O’Brien clearly reckons he will do himself justice and he looks sure to appreciate this distance after staying on nicely on his second start at Leopardstown, managing to place in a Grade 1 on only his second hurdles start.

Sneaky Getaway — 25/1 (Coral Cup, 2.30)

Emmet Mullins’ British strike-rate (44%) is staggering, for all that Cheltenham is Cheltenham. Sneaky Getaway was sent off 7s in his most recent handicap hurdle when clearly not running his race but he was much better on the Flat last time and he looked very promising in both his hurdle wins.

Again, I can’t see why his trainer is sending him all the way over if he doesn’t fancy him to run well. It is interesting that he tries cheekpieces for the first time.

Cool Jet — 33/1 (Champion Bumper, 4.50)

Never be afraid to back a Willie Mullins horse at a big price and William Hill goes 33s about this one. I am not sure why he was so weak in the market at Thurles and that is a concern but, despite running freely, he absolutely bolted up.

Mullins has won this with big-priced apparent rags and I can’t see why the man who has the joint-favourites in the race would be running others unless he felt it worth his while. This horse’s sire, Jet Away, has been making waves.

Odds above correct at the time of writing. For all the latest prices, visit 18+, always gamble responsibly. For more information, see 

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